The Analytical Study on Regional Expansion of Vintage Motorcars

Author: Dinithi Wijesuriya, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka
Published: January 2016

Citation: Wijesuriya, D. (2016). The Analytical Study on Regional Expansion of Vintage Motorcars. IAFOR Journal of the Social Sciences, 2(1).


The latter 19th century was a time that saw considerable change in Sri Lanka. The agriculture-based economy introduced by the British from 1815 changed to one that was based on import and export. Infrastructure facilities, communication systems, and modes of transportation changed accordingly with development achieved in the field of transportation being most outstanding. The existing transportation system was more or less traditional and it was restricted mainly to walking, riding on animals, carts, dolawa (palanquin), etc. However, in the latter part of the 19th century, the motorcar, a product of modern technology started to find its roots in the island. Different social stratus of populations across the island embraced the motorcar. It is understood that the motorcar became quite popular even within varying regional circumstances. A system had been introduced in the registration of motor vehicles from 1928 onwards, where a letter from A to Z was allocated to each of the 26 districts. This research will present as to how the vehicles imported to Sri Lanka were regionally distributed, based on 400 vintage motorcars imported during the latter part of the 19th century.


vintage motorcars, industrial archaeology, transportation